I never ever saw the northern lights

Another twenty hours in the car and I am back in Eugene.

A rather recent plan was hatched by Pratt and Derek Bell to go catch the Cal/Oregon game down in Berkely. Thankfully, the plan for them to leave Portland after 4:30 in the afternoon was scrapped for a much more reasonable 11:00 am. We had a pretty good 10 hour drive, with a stop outside of Roseburg and a gas break in Weed. I’d like to mention that none of us wanted to stop there because it’s reputation as an obligatory college trip stop. I promise, no picture of “weed” bearing road signs were taken. Not a single marijuana joke was had.

We rolled into San Fransico about 10:30 at night. We stayed at the luxurious South San Fransico Motel Six off of South Airport Blvd. and Mitchell. Quickly, we renamed it to the “Motel Sketch.” It wasn’t neccesarily the duct tape holding down the carpet, nor the two cops I saw either leaving or parked in the parking lot, or even the guy leaning out of a window just so he could smoke from the third floor…. really, it wasn’t horribly generic white cardboard packaged condom in the snack vending machine, bearing an aptly named black ink “CONDOM” label. Our room was small, and without the roll out bed that we were promise (my back is still protesting two nights on the floor), it was even without shampoo or more than one bar of soap. There wasn’t even a clock in the room, but I assure you, if there had been an alarm clock–it would have been adorned with a mysterious (yet impresively large) crusty stain to match the blankets on the beds, the floor, and the brown/black stain on the pillows. I think “Motel Sketch” is apt.

We hit up the local SFO Lyon’s for breakfast an beer, of which I had two. Two beers, not two breakfasts. Eventually Giovanni showed up, we all hung around eating our respective meals, drinking our respective beers. We ventured into the local Food Mart at a gas station or buy all of the things that were lacking from our hotel room.

On Saturday, we hopped on the BART (the bay area’s response to the MAX) and road into Berekly to meet up with Gio. It was remarkable how many Duck fans were on the train and at the football game. The Oregon fans could easily compete with the noise of the home team’s crowd. The people around us were really nice and very funny. They even liked my Greg Miller inspired sign of “You can duck a bear but you can’t bear a duck“, which was held up on every good Oregon play. With the true conviction and follow through of every Oregon football team, we lost. But we had fun doing it. Memorial stadium was a nice venue, first opened in 1921, it really hasn’t been touched after that date. The seats are a warped version of planks which offered the least amount leg room possible. But a good time none the less.

We stopped by Gio’s house to meet his parents, then they lumped on the hospitality–no offense to my other friends, but Gio’s parents are the coolest, no other parent has given me beer and smoked salmon within 5 minutes of walking in the door and then offered me San Fransico 49er tickets. Later that night we hit up an adult answer to Chuck E. Cheese’s, “Dave and Barry’s”. We played video games, we drank beer, we had good food… it just doesn’t get better than that.

Sunday morning we hit the road back to Oregon. All in all, a great trip–not long enough, I would have like to have seen some more of the bay area, but there is always next time. And by next time, I mean no more 10 hours in the car, I’ll cough up some money to fly, anything to avoid the car.

About Wellsy

Chris is a twenty-something Special Education teacher and Football coach in a little town south of Eugene, Oregon. Chris happily lives with his beautiful wife and his terribly uncoordinated Grate Dane named Moose. Chris has been known to travel, like reading, wanting more time to writing, be in the outdoors more, and generally not befoul the world.

Posted on November 8, 2004, in people i know, sports, travel and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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